Did Loki fake his death? How did Loki take the throne? Loki as king?! Where’s Odin now? And what happened to to Heimdall?
Between the fans on Tumblr venting their confusion, and the google search terms that come up daily on God of Mischief’s webstats, there’s a helluva lotta folk out there who really want to understand what the Hel was going on up in Asgard while Thor, Mjolnir and Malekith were busy playing inter-dimensional tag.
At this stage, the answers produced by the fandom are built almost entirely on supposition and rife with contradiction. Marvel have left a lot of story open for speculation between now and Thor 3. –
Probably so that we can come up with the answers for them.
Anyway, let’s try and get these questions answered. Bear in mind, I really am trying to cover the basics of speculation here. I mean, I did end up typing out a 50,000 word novel outlaying various theories on Loki’s death, sincerity and redemption arc, but that’s an article in itself. (I’m only half-kidding. And as much as I’d like to promise I’ll be post it once I’ve had 8 hours sleep and a chance to proof-read, I’m fairly sure it will forever remain a ‘work-in-progress’.)
What happened with Loki’s ‘death’?
There are varying opinions on how this happened; namely on whether he faked his death on purpose or just mistakenly failed to die by accident. Or perhaps a bit of both.
His skin did go all blue marble colour-shifty as he lay dying though, didn’t it? How strange. Why did this happen? I don’t even think Marvel knows, though it may have something to do with his Jotun heritage, or perhaps a reaction to the Kursed blood on the weapon that ran through him.
How Loki died and whether or not he faked it is just too big a topic to address in one post. .. Let’s move on before I give it a try! (Edited to add: Check out the FAQ which has more detailed analysis on the subject of Loki’s death, as well as a great deal many other things.)
How did Loki seize the throne
So, whether by design or accident, Loki survived his ‘death’, shape-shifted into an Ass-guard and returned to Asgard. See what I just did there. I know, so lame.
It really was quite fortunate for Loki that Odin sent out that guard to find out what became of his son/s, because it gave the trickster a perfect opportunity to [probably] murder the guard, take on his form, then return to Odin under the guise of Loki-posing-as-guard, and deliver the Allfather news of his own death.
*phew – that was a mouthful*
In this scene they were alone, but something occurred for Loki to take Odin’s place shortly after this. Which leads to the next question of…
What happened to Odin?
That above-mentioned scene was the last we saw of the Allfather. What happened next took place off-screen, leaving his fate open to good old fandom speculation.
The main theories are that after Loki-posing-as-guard informed Odin of his own death, the Allfather collapsed into Odinsleep, or died – either by natural causes or by the hand of Loki himself. Loki then stashed him somewhere, took Odin’s form and with it, his throne.
Given that there were clues that Odin was due to nod off one way or another throughout the movie, my guess is that the old fella fell into a Convenient Odinsleep after receiving the news of Loki’s death, thus allowing Loki-posing-as-guard the opportunity to casually helped himself to the throne. I mean, someone had to do it, right?
Because while it’s plausible that Loki murdered him, it’s unlikely such a dramatic event would happen off-screen. Besides, there’s still a lot of *issues* between the two that need resolving… damnit… Not that Marvel seem to care much for character building.
The more plausible answer (imo) as to what’s happened to Odin, is that he collapsed by natural causes. Perhaps Loki dropped the guard facade and yelled at him again?
Why a Convenient Odinsleep is more plausible than murder:
The news of Loki’s death followed right on the heels of Frigga’s death, Thor’s rebellion, the attack upon Asgard, and Malekith’s plan to turn off all the lights. That’s a lot for an increasingly-frail ruler to take on board, especially given the stress he had been under from the moment tricksy Loki let a group of Frost Giants into his Vault of Shiny Things back in the first Thor movie.
All in all, the moments following news of Loki’s death really was the most favourable time for Odin to fall into Odinsleep or even suffer a heart attack. Thus allowing Loki to grab opportunity by the balls and step up in his place.
Besides, Thor 3 will be more dramatic if it turns out Odin still lives and has been squirreled away somewhere.
Clues of Odin’s impending sleep/natural death:
Let’s face it, Thor: The Dark world was rife with foreshadowing on this one.
- A strong desire to retire. In his balcony scene with Thor, he discussed a desire for Thor to take up Kingship. Given the fact that he was no longer able to be at the front lines fighting for his realm, it was fairly apparent that Odin was really quite keen on retirement. Hel, he wanted to pass the throne over to his heir since like, two years ago.
- Increasing frailty. When Thor challenged his father over the imprisonment of Jane Foster, Odin keeled forward during an outburst – causing Thor to take a concerned step or two towards him. This scene made it fairly obvious that the old man was running on fumes and trying hard to just hang in there a little longer.
- General old age. At nearly 5000 years old, Odin was reaching the end of an Asgardian’s life-span. (Loki mentioned in his opening scene that an Asgardian’s life-span is ‘give or take 5000 years’. Do the math.)
Bonus extra – an answer to the question that wasn’t asked: What happened to Heimdall? Won’t he know Loki’s faking it?
Heimdall is conveniently out of Loki’s luxurious free-flowing mane, because shortly after aiding Thor & Co’s escape, the Gatekeeper was arrested for treason and (presumably) marched off to the cells. This was an order carried out by Odin, back when he was in fact Odin.
Loki-posing-as-Odin can now keep him there to rot if he likes, and no one can argue. Treason is treason, right?
Or, he can just continue wearing that Odin disguise and – unless Heimdall can see through such trickery – use the Gatekeeper’s near-omniscient sight for his own agenda.
Please feel free to add your thoughts and opinions in the comments! Unless you’re just trying to sell me new shoes, knock-off handbags or miracle pills, in which case… No.
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